Thursday, July 06, 2017


This happened today:
President Donald Trump was met Thursday in Poland by cheering crowds bussed in for the occasion, and one of those well-wishers waved a Confederate flag.

As Kevin Kruse reminds us, during George Wallace's first run for president, in 1964, he held a rally at Serb Hall in Milwaukee and the crowd serenaded him with a version of "Dixie" in Polish. In case you're wondering what that sounded like, a YouTuber has generated his own version:

The subject of American white supremacism Mitteleuropa-style reminds me of this anecdote from a mid-1980s issue of Spin magazine. It's from a story by Legs McNeil, who was following the German metal band Scorpions on tour. This happened at a stop in, um, Nuremberg:

I don't know what that metal fan was thinking. Maybe to him it was a symbol of white pride, or maybe he'd merely grown up on bootleg Lynyrd Skynyrd tapes. Maybe he just thought rock and roll is quintessentially American, and the Confederate flag just seemed like the most rebellious, badass banner representing America -- more so than the American flag, which is totally not rock and roll.

At Trump's speech today, somebody concluded that the real banner of Trumpism might not be the Stars and Stripes. I wonder if that's going to start happening more and more back home. I saw an opinion piece over the weekend titled "Liberals Are Reclaiming Patriotism from the Right." I can't say I see a lot of flag-waving on our side, although most of us are much less tolerant of Russian electoral interference than Republicans are. But if this does become a cultural shift -- if liberals embrace overt symbols of patriotism such as the American flag -- I can imagine the right actively disdaining that flag. Hey, why not? Pro-Trumpers rejected the Declaration of Independence when NPR tweeted it on July 4. The Stars and Stripes could be the next to be rejected -- in favor, I'd predict, of the Stars and Bars.

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